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Offbeat News

No bull: India claims cow dung chip protects against radiation

New Delhi - An Indian government unit established to develop soaps and medicinal products from cow dung has branched out with a "chip" it claims can protect people from cellphone radiation.

Stolen $300m Mao scroll found 'cut in half': Hong Kong police

Fpo - A stolen poetry scroll written by Mao Zedong and valued at hundreds of millions of dollars has been recovered, Hong Kong police said Wednesday -- but not before it was cut in half.

Argentina lawmaker kisses partner's breast during videoconference

Buenos Aires - An Argentine lawmaker was suspended Thursday after kissing his partner's breasts during a parliamentary session being held by videoconference, a scene that quickly went viral on social media.

Man 'asleep' in speeding self-driving car charged in Canada

Ottawa - A driver who allegedly set his car to autopilot and then took a nap as it broke the speed limit on a rural Canadian highway has been charged with dangerous driving, police said.

I can see loo: Tokyo park gets transparent toilets

Apo - Spacious, clean, and almost completely see-through, an unusual new public toilet block has been built in a Tokyo park -- but thankfully, the walls turn opaque when you lock the door.

World's oldest captive alligator marks 83 years in Belgrade zoo

Belgrade - Muja has lived through multiple bombing campaigns and several countries -- all while never leaving a tiny pool in Belgrade's zoo for 83 years, making him the world's oldest captive alligator.

US to ease water rules after Trump's shower moan

Washington - The US government is looking at easing regulations on shower fittings following complaints from President Donald Trump who has regularly railed against water conservation rules in his quest for "perfect hair.

Canadian brewer apologizes for naming beer 'pubic hair' in Maori

Montr - A Canadian brewery has apologized for naming one of its beers after the Maori term for "pubic hair", and not "feather" as it had intended, CBC reported.

Taiwan airlines offer sight-seeing flights during pandemic

Taoyuan - Faced with the coronavirus collapse in travellers, Taiwanese airlines have begun offering sight-seeing "flights to nowhere" on their passenger jets -- including flight attendant lessons for children.

Porn video interrupts US court hearing for accused Twitter hacker

Miami - A court hearing held via Zoom for a US teenager accused of masterminding a stunning hack of Twitter was interrupted Wednesday with rap music and porn, a newspaper reported.

'Model' customers keep Tokyo diners at social distance

Apo - The coronavirus pandemic might have left many restaurants empty, but one establishment in Tokyo is relying on some model customers to enforce social distancing: life-like mannequins keeping diners from getting too close.

'Brazil's most famous cobra' sparks trafficking probe, draws fans

Rio De Janeiro - A cobra that bit a veterinary student in Brazil, putting him in a coma, has turned into a celebrity by sparking an investigation into an alleged exotic animal trafficking ring.

Bearing no malice: Pompeo denies Pooh-poohing Xi

Washington - America's top diplomat Mike Pompeo assails China nearly daily, but he says his dog isn't part of his campaign.

Silent screams: Japan rollercoaster virus guide wins hearts

Apo - It might be the unlikeliest instructional video ever, but footage of two Japanese amusement park executives demonstrating how to "scream inside your heart" to avoid spreading COVID-19 while on a rollercoaster has been a roaring success.

Up for grabs: Tokyo art exhibit invites theft

Apo - The Tokyo art exhibit opened to enthusiastic visitors, but many of those circulating weren't just there to soak in some culture -- they were casing the joint for a midnight raid.

Joy as searchers find Aussie teen lost on Mount Disappointment

Melbourne - An autistic teen lost for two days in Australian bushland was reunited with his family Wednesday, after a hundreds-strong volunteer search than involved using Vegemite and the Thomas the Tank Engine theme tune as lures.

Singapore minister sheepishly admits woolly thinking over cotton

Fpo - A Singaporean minister has sheepishly admitted to saying that cotton came from animals rather than plants in a slip-up during an interview that triggered bleats of mockery online.

'Little Chef' charms Myanmar with lockdown cooking classes

From boiled catfish soup to spicy fried frog, an eight-year-old in pyjamas and a chef's hat is delighting Myanmar with her culinary prowess in a nation still being told to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No screams please: Japanese funfairs prepare for virus era

Apo - No screaming on the rollercoaster, socially distant spooks in the haunted house and please refrain from high-fiving your favourite superhero: welcome to Japanese amusement parks in the coronavirus era.

Gobble gobble: Pac-Man turns 40

Apo - Forty years ago, a new video game featuring a bright yellow, dot-chomping, ghost-dodging character called Pac-Man appeared in Tokyo. It would become the most successful arcade game of all time.

Poland to hold new vote after bizarre ghost election

Warsaw - Poland has two weeks to set a new presidential election date, the national electoral commission said after certifying that the poll scheduled for Sunday did not happen.

Zero turnout as Poland holds bizarre ghost election

Warsaw - Poland's election day Sunday will be one for the history books as polling stations remain closed and turnout will clock in at zero due to a political crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid, Corona and Lockdown: the newborns named after a pandemic

Manila - First there was Corona Kumar, then Covid Marie: parents have taken to naming newborns after the coronavirus, apparently unperturbed by the prospect of their children being forever associated with a deadly pandemic.

Joy! Tokyo deploys Marie Kondo in virus fight

Apo - Worried about getting bored while stuck at home during holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic? The Tokyo governor has a solution: Decluttering with Marie Kondo.

Viral content: Tokyo governor's distancing call is online hit

Apo - Manga, music and even video games: calls from Tokyo's governor for residents to practise social distancing to stem the spread of coronavirus have inspired a slew of viral online tributes.

Indian inventor revs up corona car to drive home lockdown message

New Delhi - A giant coronavirus is stalking the streets of southern India -- propelled by a 100 cc engine and an inventor trying to drive home the message that Indians should stay indoors as the pandemic sweeps across the world.

Bali's miracle: turning wine into hand sanitiser

Bali - Pharmacists on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali are tackling a shortage of anti-coronavirus hand sanitiser by making their own unique, tropical version -- from thousands of litres of fermented palm wine.

Pandas use lockdown privacy to mate after a decade of trying

Fpo - Stuck at home with no visitors and not much else to do, a pair of pandas in Hong Kong finally decided to give mating a go after a decade of dodging the issue.

We don't need no social distance: US police bust Pink Floyd 'corona party'

New York - Partygoers at a Pink Floyd tribute night have been scolded for shouting abuse at New Jersey police after defying social distancing rules brought in to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Florida beach ravers tie with Trump for 'most foolish' during pandemic

Los Angeles - US students who defied coronavirus warnings to keep partying on Florida beaches during their spring break have been crowned the year's "most foolish" Americans in a new survey -- tied with President Donald Trump.
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